Tuesday, January 18, 2011

World Birds, Watery Wednesday & Nature Notes - Little Grebe

The Little or Australasian Grebes, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae,
returned this year to nest in our farm dam again. They remembered
after two years when there was not enough water or the dam was
a cracked and barren dry dust bowl. This year they luckily nested
before the dam had filled to the top and overflowed thus having
still the cover of the dry reeds as a hide. Luckily the water level
rose after they were hatched and the parents carried their two
chicks on their back for quite some time to keep them dry and warm.

Although it was a very rainy winter and spring and the nest was
swamped, both chicks survived. Like Princess Mary's, they were
a mixed pair, a cheeky little boy above, and a shy little girl below.

Sorry, she stayed way out in the middle of the dam and I had
no tripod, while he came towards me quite inshore to check me

Here is the family photo of both of them. Apparently young
Charley was too close to me and dad came rushing over to
shoo him to deeper water.

A month ago the stepping stones were a good foot under water
and although the weather has not been very hot or windy, the
evaporation rate has been high.

Here they are again yesterday, high and dry.

NB Although the water level is well above the height of the old
reedbed, the nest the grebes built, has become a raft to which the
young grebes retreat to preen and sleep safe from marauding
foxes and cats.

All photos conveniently enlarge for the interested.

Thanks to all those who organise the three memes I am posting
this on. Please click the relevant Logos on the side to join any or all
of them or just see what is happening elsewhere.


  1. Wonderful photos, I would have loved to see the Grebe chicks.

  2. I enjoyed these beautiful 'warm' scenes.Right now I need all the warmth I can get.It is frigid here now,hope it does't last too long.'

  3. Such lovely captures! So peaceful and beautiful. Hope you're enjoying your week, Arija!


  4. Lovely little birds.
    We have Little Grebes here, but they are so shy, and wary.

  5. A great favourite of mine. I have a video clip somewhere on my blog of confused chicks when Mum disappears with her lovely little dive.

  6. Cute little Grebes Arija. I'm glad your water is somewhat receding.
    Have a great rest of the week.

  7. That's so great that the babies made it. Lovely sequence. I guess it's feast or famine with rain.

  8. Great story. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River Canada.

  9. This post is full of wonderful water reflections. It lends an artistic touch to the surroundings where this wildlife family can rest.

  10. Nice captures. Love the reflections.

    Have a great week!

  11. I know it has been such fun watching these little grebes grow up and learn the ropes of survival!

  12. The grebes are fun to watch. They must be confused as to the dry and wet lake effect. Sounds like it's working for them this year.

  13. Very nice! Cute little birds :) If you have the time, stop by my page at www.adventureswithjessica.blogspot.com and check things out. New followers are always welcome :) Thanks!

  14. wow!! very nice photos! thanks for sharing... i love them all!

  15. Great post! You must have very dry air there in South Australia. Lets hope you don't have a repeat of the forest fires you endured recently. Your Grebe family was so much fun to see, it should be a fun year on your pond! ;-)WBW

  16. Beautiful photos of the farm dam and the grebes. Nice that you could watch them over a period of time and watch them develop. I like the photos of the stepping stones and how quickly they have come out of the water.

  17. I don't know why but I am always thrilled to see birds that I love from some far away place, like south Australia!! (They might be a different variety of grebe I suppose, but we have them in Oregon, on the Lake where we stay and on the Bay on the pacific coast where we often visit.) They are one of our favorite birds too. I loved your series of pictures!

  18. I posted water birds, but I don't know the name.

  19. Sweet captures! Nice to see the the birds of your country.

  20. "cheeky little boy above, and a shy little girl below" - love these descriptions.

    Fascinating how the stepping stones changes because of the water levels.

  21. What charming birds. I don't think we have those here. The photos are lovely too, with all those watery reflections.

  22. Grebes are awesome birds, I didn't know that there was an Australian species.
    Last year I saw a grebe nest build in a big piece of styrofoam - that took care of any changes in the water level very nicely.

  23. Love the grebes Arija! Hope you are well! Sending love and hugs your way along with prayers!

  24. i love grebes! and this guy is just adorable :)

  25. I too love grebes and have only seen one once...How lucky to have be able to host a family Arija...I so appreciate the warm comments and your wisdom....hugs...Michelle

  26. What darling little birds. I'm glad they've found a suitable environment for now. Lovely shots...great coloring and lighting. Thanks for stopping by at mine...

  27. Very beautiful area here. Love what you captured in your photos. I'll be back to check out more soon. Thanks
    Goldenray Yorkies


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